|I met Casimir in Chesterfield Inlet during the summer of 2007. His friendly conversation was punctuated by an engaging laugh that lurked just below the surface. Casimir was born on March 19th, 1944, on the land outside Chesterfield Inlet. His parents both died at a young age 18 miles outside the community. He was adopted by the Grey Nuns, a Roman Catholic organization called “The Sisters of Charity of Montreal.” They helped care for the sick and disabled people in Chesterfield Inlet. He has fond memories of Sister Pelagie (Katsuak) who supervised him during this period.
“At age 10 I was adopted by Leonard and Leonie Putulik,” Casimir stated proudly. In 1961 he married Sidonie. They had ten children; one was adopted out and one child they raised from another family.
He continued, “I enjoy living in Chesterfield. The hunting is good. You can go out on the land and get anything you want, bear, seal, caribou.” One month later I returned to the community and spent the entire day with Casimir. I accompanied him and his nephew, Bernie Putulik, hunting caribou by boat on the Hudson Bay. I witnessed Casimir’s expertise on the land combined with his wry sense of humor. During the day we waited out the tide on a hill top with a spectacular view. Everywhere there was evidence of his ancient culture. It was a fitting backdrop for my photographs of this respected elder of Chesterfield Inlet.